The University of Central Arkansas has named Patricia S. Poulter as its new provost and executive vice president of Academic Affairs. The announcement was made Wednesday, March 14.
As the university’s chief academic officer, Poulter will oversee UCA’s six colleges, the Graduate School, the Schedler Honors College and University College. She will also develop a strategic direction and supervise activities that support and advance UCA’s mission. Poulter will report directly to the president.
She will begin July 1.
The university began the search for a new provost in fall 2017 with the help of Parker Executive Search. UCA’s 19-person search committee—which included students, faculty and staff —assessed and ranked 58 applicants and interviewed 11 in Little Rock in February.
The top four, including Poulter, visited UCA in late February and early March. Each candidate’s visit to campus included a campus tour; meetings with the Staff Senate, Faculty Senate, Student Government Association and the executive staff at the university; and a campus forum, in which candidates made a presentation to the campus community and answered questions.
Poulter was the most supported candidate among the committee members in the semi-finalists stage and the candidate who received the most positive evaluations from the campus community.
“First of all, I am very appreciative of the work of our search committee and the level of participation from the faculty, staff and students in the interview and campus forum process. Dr. Poulter brings a strong academic leadership reputation as well as commitment to quality academic program development and student support in and out of the classroom,” said UCA President Houston Davis. “In her interactions with our faculty, staff and students during her interviews, the evaluations noted the excellent rapport that she held with various groups. I look forward to welcoming her as a colleague to UCA and working with her to advance our university.”
Poulter will come to UCA from Kennesaw State University in Georgia, where she serves as dean of the College of Arts. Before that role, she worked at Eastern Illinois University as associate dean of the College of Arts and Humanities, interim chair of the journalism department and chair of the Department of Student Teaching and Clinical Experiences.
Poulter said, “I am thrilled to be joining the University of Central Arkansas. During my visit, I received such a warm greeting from the entire campus community, and it was immediately clear that there is an energy here that is almost visible. I look forward to working with the leadership team, faculty, staff, and students in continuing UCA’s momentum, and I am excited to be a part of its future.”
She received a bachelor’s in music education and master’s in conducting from Eastern Illinois University. She earned her doctorate in music from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.